Seeing as I am currently trapped in the cold, gray, snowy midwest, I enjoy everything about SoCal band The Smiles about as much as I envy it: Very much. They have only been around for a little more than a year, but they understand simple, sunny harmonies and warm vibes. And when there’s snow and ice on the ground, you sort of have to rely on tunes to provide any warmth.
The two songs we offer up here are a whole lot of fun. First, “Cala Cola” is sort of an homage to unwise, youthful spending. You might’ve blown your summer job money on a used-car down payment, or fed that addiction to breakfast cereal with the money on your meal card in the college cafeteria. Or perhaps you dropped some coin on that new wardrobe after you shed 25 pounds for bathing suit season. Or you kept it simple and enjoyed some soda. The theft discussed here I cannot endorse. But “Cala Cola” is a fun way to celebrate all that irresponsible behavior.
And “California Girls” is not a Beach Boys cover, but rather a whimsical beach rock tune about heading west for girls and sunshine. Though if these guys are from Los Angeles, why would they ever leave? They actually remind me of a simpler, surfer version of Apollo Ghosts. Give both these songs a listen for a real treat, as they’re the highlights on The Smiles’ Hermosa EP. Get (or stay) warm!